We conduct Clinical Evaluations for these types of Immigration Waivers:
In this case the legal US citizen (spouse, fiancée, parent, child or ‘green card’ holder) would suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ if you had to return to your home country for two years, OR if the legal U.S. citizen left the U.S. to stay with you in your country. Other viable types of exceptional hardship can be psychological, social, cultural, economic, educational, career-related, political, religious, or due to compulsory military service, or medical. Or there may be a business in the U.S. that would fail if you were not present, or your dependent family might not be able to pursue their profession if they were to follow you home.
Clinical Evaluation Goal: The purpose of the psychological evaluation is to assess and understand any and all hardships that any and all relevant family members would face if the waiver were not granted. Specifically, the information obtained in this evaluation is used to answer two main questions:
- Would deportation of the immigrant pose an extreme and unusual hardship to the relative in question?
- Would it be an extreme and unusual hardship for the lawful-resident relative to accompany the immigrant back to his or her home country in case they are deported?
The professional opinion rendered in a psychological evaluation greatly strengthens the case, and without it, the applicant would have to explain the hardship in his or her own words.
Despite the name of this act, the VAWA immigration provisions include women and men. In spousal abuse cases, a person from a foreign country is married to a citizen or a legal permanent U.S. resident. After the marriage, the immigrant claims domestic abuse and seeks to file for legal status separately from their U.S. citizen spouse, usually because the U.S. citizen doesn’t wish to assist his/her spouse in this process. Even if the marriage ends in divorce, a VAWA petition can be filed, as long as there was a connection between the divorce and domestic violence and/or abuse. The abuse can take a variety of forms and must constitute extreme cruelty. “Extreme cruelty” includes, but is not limited to, verbal threats of violence, forceful detention, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, rape, molestation, incest (if the victim is a minor), and forced prostitution.
Clinical Evaluation Goal: In these cases, it is important for the therapist to evaluate the scope and nature of the abuse, the practical ramifications, and the emotional impact that the abuse has had on you. In the safety of the evaluation process, you can talk about the painful ordeal and its adverse impact on your life and your emotional well-being. This process can be of tremendous help in empowering the victims and promote the healing process far beyond the resolution of their immigration case.
U visa gives legal status to immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, who have been victims of serious crimes in the United States. Examples of some of these crimes include, but are not limited to, sexual abuse, domestic violence, involuntary servitude, sexual exploitation, kidnapping, trafficking, and rape. With a U visa, the immigrant may stay and work in the U.S for up to four years. After three years, however, a victim with a U visa may apply for a green card.
Clinical Evaluation Goal: The goal of the psychological evaluation is to assess the extent of serious physical, mental, or emotional consequences of the experience. An applicant for a U visa has to be willing to assist the police and/or District Attorney’s Office in the investigation and/or with the prosecution of the criminal.
T visa is a visa that may be issued to victims of severe forms of human trafficking, sex trade, or forced labor, who are present in the U.S. by way of such trafficking.
Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to compel individuals to provide labor or services, including commercial sex. Traffickers often take advantage of vulnerable individuals, including those lacking lawful immigration status. T visas offer protection to victims and strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute human trafficking.
Under federal law, a ”severe form of trafficking“ is:
- Sex trafficking: When someone recruits, harbors, transports, provides, solicits, patronizes, or obtains a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, where the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or the person being induced to perform such act is under 18 years of age; or
- Labor trafficking: When someone recruits, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Clinical Evaluation Goal: The goal of the psychological evaluation is to assess the extent of serious physical, mental, or emotional consequences of the experience. An applicant for a T visa has to be willing to assist the police and/or District Attorney’s Office in the investigation and/or with the prosecution of the criminal.
Applicants petitioning for political asylum often have been exposed to extreme deprivation, severe abuse, and possibly even torture in their home country. Frequently, these mistreatments are related to a political, religious, and/or ethnic persecution. Living your life in your home country becomes sufficiently intolerable or painful, that the individual flees his or her country to the United States and files a political asylum claim.
Clinical Evaluation Goal: The purpose of an immigration evaluation in asylum cases is to collect information about this mistreatment and to examine the psychological impact that these circumstances have had on the immigrant. It is most common that the individual has developed psychological problems as a result of the abuse, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), severe anxiety, and/or depression.
If your immigration case involves is political asylum, it is important to assess the extent and severity of your original trauma, whether you continue to suffer from psychological symptoms after your arrival in the U.S., and how long-lasting the psychological ramifications could be.
In addition to the legal aid you are receiving, an immigration evaluation therapist can help you communicate and document the mental health aspects of your case.
Details about your appointments and clinical evaluation process.
Call our office 713-206-8429 to make your appointment. Normally, we can see you within 24 hours. Leave a message if no answer. We are probably busy with other clients. We will return your call within two hours.
As a courtesy, please contact us 24 hours in advance to cancel your appointment. Your appointment is scheduled for you only and we cannot fill the time of your appointment with another patient last-minute.
You will receive a courtesy reminder of your appointment 24-hours in advance.
All clients are charged directly for services. We do not accept any form of insurance. This policy is in place to protect your privacy.
If you request reimbursement from your insurance company, we’ll gladly provide documentation of your appointment and your payment receipts. It is strongly recommended that you contact someone from your insurance company ahead of time to inquire about your benefits out-of-coverage.
We accept payment with Credit Card, Debit or Cash.
- Your session is paid at the office, unless it is a Skype session.
- Skype session invoices must be processed 24 hours before your appointment.
- We accept credit cards and money in exact amounts at the office.
- Call 713-206-8429 for more details.
An evaluation will be completed in 7-10 days after the final session is complete. Emergency or fast turnaround evaluations (48hours) are available for special cases and will incur an extra fee. We can discuss this over the phone or in person. Call our office 713-206-8429 for more information.
A clinical evaluation is an assessment of your emotional state, your mental functioning, your skills, and other strengths and weaknesses and is performed by a professional licensed immigration counselor.
A clinical evaluation can be used by your attorney to support your case and move you forward with your immigration proceedings. A clinical evaluation is an important part of the application process to become a citizen of the United States, as well as is a valuable tool when applying for an immigration waiver. The clinical evaluations we perform are usually for these 4 types of immigration waivers:
- Extreme and Exceptional Hardship Waivers:
- SPOUSAL ABUSE – VAWA (Violence Against Women Act):
- Visa U (Victims of crime):
- Political asylum
NOTE: To read complete descriptions of these 4 types of immigration waivers, please see first toggle at the top of this page.
The complete clinical evaluation service requires a minimum of 2 sessions that must be scheduled at least one week apart. After the final session, a written report is complied. There are times when additional (more than 2) sessions are required for a complete evaluation.
After the final session is complete, Ms. Rodriguez will compile a detailed evaluation or report that is usually completed in 7-10 business days – with the exception of holidays and weekends.
- Session One: Your first session will last approx. 1.5 to 2 hours. An informal interview will be performed to assess emotional strengths and weaknesses, mental functioning, as well relevant family history. Several diagnostic tests are administered.
- Session Two: Your second session occurs at least a week (7-10 days) sfter your first session. It usually lasts approximately 30-45 minutes, and consists of a second interview and a final diagnostic test.
- Compiling the data: After the 2nd or final session, data from interviews as well as the results from various assessments are complied to create a detailed document. The 6-8 page document includes detailed medical, emotional and other relevant information as well as a diagnosis that is needed for the immigration application.
After the final session clinical evaluations are completed in 7-10 business days when you will receive a copy of your evaluation.
Many patients have received notices from their attorneys or INS needing additional evidence or proof of emotional consistency. This is mostly likely after being seen by another counselor that only did one session for their evaluation. Working with many immigration attorneys and understanding the evaluation process over many years has proven that the most successful outcome requires a minimum of 2 sessions. To avoid any further delays and stress we have determined a minimum of 2 therapeutic sessions are needed to provide a thorough report. Do it right the first time!
Details about your professional immigration counselor:
The person who conducts your clinical evaluation should:
- be a professional and licensed counselor.
- have an understanding of the factors involving in the extreme difficulty of immigration.
- have the ability to diagnose cognitive disorders, emotional, behavior and the possible development of such disorders.
She has experience conducting hundreds of clinical evaluations for immigration cases. Her unique combination of experience as an immigration and psychotherapy counselor makes her the ideal choice to provide you and your lawyer with comprehensive assessments. In addition, her Hispanic/Latino background makes her particularly aware and sensitive of the varying needs of the multicultural community. To read more of Ms.
Rodriguez’ qualifications, please refer to her About Angelina page.